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The Doodle: Joey Votto Injury is Walt Jocketty’s Scapegoat

Complete letdown.

Well how else would you explain the Cincinnati Reds‘ season? The injuries that this team has been forced to deal with has been straight brutal. Take a look at these names of players who have been injured and missed time this season:

  • Mat Latos
  • Aroldis Chapman
  • Jonathan Broxton
  • Sean Marhsall
  • Billy Hamilton
  • Devin Mesoraco
  • Tony Cingrani
  • Jay Bruce
  • Skip Schumaker
  • Jack Hannahan
  • Brett Marshall
  • Joey Votto

Yes, in case you have missed it, today it was announced that Joey Votto did not travel with the Reds to Philadelphia so that he could have an MRI on his left knee. The very same knee that caused him to miss extensive time in 2012.

Brutal is an understatement.

Somehow the Reds are just three games under .500 on the season, despite the onslaught of injuries. But how much longer can a team tread water while having their foundation completely ripped out from underneath them. After all, this is a team built to win now. Unlike the team a few blocks down on the banks, the Reds are not blessed with depth on their roster or in their farm system.

Remember over the course of the offseason when many of us clamored for the Reds to make some kind of move to improve this team? This is exactly the reason why. General manager Walt Jocketty did nothing to improve the team and instead this is what he has settled for:

  • Bruce injured, replaced by Roger Bernadina.
  • Hamilton injured, replaced by Chris Heisey
  • Mesoraco injured, replaced by Brayan Pena and Tucker Barnhart
  • Cingrani injured, replaced by Jeff Francis
  • Broxton injured, replaced by Trevor Bell
  • S. Marshall injured, replaced by Logan Ondrusek
  • Latos injured, replaced by Alfredo Simon
  • Votto injured, (likely) replaced by Neftali Soto and Donald Lutz
  • Chapman injured, replaced by Broxton and Sam LeCure
  • Hannahan injured, replaced by Ramon Santiago and Soto
  • Schumaker injured, replaced by Soto

Aside from Pena, Broxton, Simon and LeCure, the majority of the replacements have struggled mightily for the Reds. Additionally, there are no other replacements in AA or above to provide relief for the Reds (especially offensively).

So is it time to just throw in the towel on 2014?

Who knows, maybe the Reds defeat all odds and shock the world to produce an amazing remainder of the season. The cards are definitely stacked against them in order to do so.

One thing I do know for sure, the injury of Joey Votto will ensure Walt Jocketty keeps his position as general manager of the Reds in 2015 (not that is what ever in doubt, given his friendship with Bob Castellini). The injury, and all preceding it, absolve Jocketty of blame because of “unforeseen circumstances”. Instead of focusing on the fact that the Reds opening day roster was full of question marks and holes, the season’s struggles will be blamed on injuries instead.

If this season has shown us anything, it is that the 2014 offseason has to be filled with moves led by Jocketty. With Ludwick a free agent after the season and Cueto/Latos entering final years of their deals, the future of the team is in jeopardy. Especially when you consider the injuries sustained by key members of the current team


Grant E. Doepel

Grant E. Doepel

Editor in Chief and co-founder of Riverfront Grumble, Doepel is a Cincinnati native who lives and breathes Queen City sports. A University of the Cumberlands graduate with degrees in Journalism and Communication Arts, Doepel still resides in the Greater Cincinnati area to provide easy access to the riverfront stadiums.
Grant E. Doepel

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